Colorado Dental Board: Continuing Education

Every Dentist, Dental Therapist, and Dental Hygienist, as a condition of renewing, reactivating or reinstating a license must complete at least 30 hours of continuing education (CE) every two years to ensure patient safety and professional competency. CE hours may only be applied to the license period in which they were completed.

If a license is issued within one (1) year of the renewal date, no continuing education will be required for that first license period. If a license is issued outside of one (1) year of the renewal date, then 15 hours of Board-approved continuing education will be required for that first license period.


Dental Therapists
On June 7, 2022, Governor Jared Polis signed Senate Bill 22-219 into Colorado law. The bill states that starting May 1, 2023, a person must be licensed by the Colorado Dental Board to practice dental therapy in the state of Colorado. The license renewal requirements for dental therapists are below.

Dentists and Dental Therapists
Dentists, academic dentists, and dental therapists must complete at least 30 hours of CE during each two-year license period. The Board automatically accepts any CE course or program recognized by any of the following organizations (or a successor organization):

  • American Dental Association (ADA) Continuing Education Recognition Program (CERP),
  • Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) Program Approval for Continuing Education (PACE),
  • American Medical Association (AMA) Physician Recognition Award (PRA) and credit system as Category 1 Credit, or
  • Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) accredited institutions.

Dental Hygienists
Dental hygienists must also complete at least 30 hours of CE during each two-year license period. The Board automatically accepts any CE course recognized above and sponsored or recognized by any of the following organizations (or a successor organization):

  • The American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA) and its constituents and component societies, or
  • Local, state, regional, national, or international dental, dental hygiene, dental assisting, medical-related professional organization, or study group that has a sound scientific basis, proven efficacy, and ensures public safety.


Continuing Education Requirements

At least 16 of the required 30 CE hours must be clinical or science-based, or eight (8) of the required 15 if licensed outside of one (1) year of the license date.

Live and Interactive
At least 50% of the required CE hours must be live and interactive.  This may include web-based courses.  Interaction meeting this requirement includes the opportunity and ability for course participants to ask questions in real-time, and for the instructor to answer participant questions in real-time.

A presenter of courses may submit course hours he/she presented, up to six (6) total credits, towards his/her CE requirement. The presenter may receive credit one (1) time for each course presented in a renewal period, up to six (6) total credits for that license period.

Basic Life Support
Current Basic Life Support (BLS) for healthcare providers is required of all licensees and all licensees will receive a maximum of 2 hours continuing education credit (not to be applied towards the renewal of an anesthesia permit) for successful completion.

Basic Life Support (BLS) generally refers to the type of care that first-responders healthcare providers and public safety professionals provide to anyone who is experiencing cardiac arrest, respiratory distress or an obstructed airway. It requires
knowledge and skills in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), using automated external defibrillators (AED) and relieving airway obstructions in patients of every age.
Basic Life Support (BLS) training courses shall be consistent with the most current science and treatment recommendations from the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR). Consensus on Science and Treatment Recommendations (CoSTR), and the American Heart Association Guidelines for CPR and Emergency
Cardiovascular Care (ECC):

  • Initial training shall include a minimum of three (3) hours of training, including skills practice and skills testing.
  • Renewal courses shall include a minimum of two (2) hours of training, including skills practice and testing.

Anesthesia and Sedation Permit
A dentist renewing an anesthesia or sedation permit may apply CE credits specific to renewing his/her permit for anesthesia or sedation administration (17 hours every five years) to the 30 hours required to renew a license every two (2) years. Anesthesia-related hours may only be applied to the license period in which they were completed.

Substance Use Prevention Training
Every Dentist and Academic Dentist, regardless of the date of licensure, is required to complete at least one (1) hour of training per license period in order to demonstrate competency pertaining to:

  • best practices for opioid prescribing
  • potential harm of inappropriately limiting prescriptions to chronic pain patients
  • best practices for prescribing benzodiazepines
  • recognition of substance use disorders
  • referral of patients with substance use disorders for treatment
  • use of the electronic prescription drug monitoring program

Substance Use Prevention Training includes but is not limited to: relevant continuing education courses; self-study of relevant scholarly articles or relevant policies/guidelines; peer review proceedings that involve opioid prescribing;
attendance at a relevant conference (or portion of a conference); teaching a relevant class/course; or participation in a relevant presentation, such as with your practice.

All substance use prevention training that also meets the continuing education
requirements specified above may be applied to a licensee’s continuing education renewal requirements.

Dentists and Academic Dentists who meet one of the following conditions may be exempt from Substance Use Prevention Training:

  • Maintain a national board certification that requires equivalent substance use prevention training; or 
  • Attests to the Board that they do not prescribe opioids

Documentation and Audits of Compliance
A licensee must maintain copies of all completed Board approved coursework, including any certificates of completion, for at least two (2) license periods after the continuing education was completed. The records shall document the
licensees' course attendance and participation, and shall include at a minimum the licensee’s name, course sponsor, title, date(s), hours, and the course verification of completion certificate or form.


**Licensees may be subject to a Board audit of compliance after each license period ends.**